NAVSEA press release
This story was update with actual pictures of the Snakehead LDUUV (see bottom of the page)
Snakehead is a modular, reconfigurable, multi-mission LDUUV deployed from submarine large ocean interfaces. It is equipped with a government-owned architecture, mission autonomy capabilities and vehicle software, employing innovation in the areas of hull materials and lithium-ion battery certification. Deployed from a submarine dry deck shelter, Snakehead provides guidance and control, navigation, situational awareness, propulsion, maneuvering and sensors in support of undersea missions.
The Navy continues to invest in a family of unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) to meet the mission requirements for maintaining undersea domain superiority. Snakehead is the Navy’s largest submarine-launched UUV, providing increased endurance, depth capability, and payload capacity beyond small and medium UUVs.
Naval News comments:
NAVSEA issued a draft request for proposal (RFP) for the Snakehead LDUUV in October 2020.
As previously announced, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) won a contract award to develop and demonstrate a prototype Lithium-ion Fault Tolerant LiFT battery system for the LDUUV prototype.
The ‘Snakehead’ LDUUV will equip the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) and provide Intelligence and Preparation of the Environment (IPOE) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. Naval News understands that the LDUUV is likely to be deployed from submarines as well. If that was confirmed, the LDUUV would be deployed from the Dry Deck Shelters (DDS) typically used for Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDV) since the Snakehead’s large diameter won’t fit in a standard torpedo tube (533 mm).
The U.S. Navy has released for the first time images showing the LDUUV: